MADEMOISELLE ROXANE HARFIELD
by Mark Hodder
Mademoiselle Roxane Harfield is young and beautiful,
self-reliant, and very resourceful. Her significant others are: Pierre and Napoleon (both half-breed Canadian Indians); Captain Foster — captain of her yacht, La Brise; and Mr Cameron — Second Officer aboard La Brise.
Roxane was created by George Hamilton Teed.
The twenty-seven thousand acre Harfield Lumber Concession in New Brunswick, Canada, was formed by John Harfield just six months before his death. He left behind him a widow, Helen, a young daughter, Roxane, and eight directors of the company, which struggled on despite the lack of a proper railway line through the territory. One day, two of the directors, Chris Henley and Harold Carruthers, inform Roxane and her mother that they are selling the company. The Harfields have no choice in this matter and their share of the proceeds is pitiful. As they pack to leave their home, Mrs Harfield reads in a newspaper that a railway line is finally to be built; opening up the territory and promising vast profits from the lumber industry. Realising that she has been foully swindled out of a fortune, she collapses from the shock of it and dies. Roxane vows vengeance upon the eight directors ... and this leads her into adventures she little dreamed of.
For the next two years, Roxane takes what little money she has and skilfully plays the stock exchange until she has built up a fortune. She buys a yacht, La Brise, and begins to plan her revenge on the men she holds responsible for her mother's death. Disguising herself, she gains employment as secretary to one of the men. Her campaign begins ... ...
1. They Shall Repay! (UNION JACK issue 1,378, 1930)
Five years after she and her mother are cheated out of their home and business — an event which drives her mother into the grave — Mademoiselle Roxanne Harfield begins her campaign of vengeance. Of the eight businessmen who swindled her, the first target is Harold Carruthers. In disguise, Roxane gains a position as his secretary and for three years she ensures that his financial resources are weakened until, finally, he hangs everything upon one deal. In London, she steals the money he was to invest. Carruthers calls in Sexton Blake and the detective eventually persuades Roxane to hand back the money ... but by the time she does, Carruthers is already a broken man.
2. The Man From Devil's Island (UNION JACK issue 1,380, 1930)
Roxane sails to French Guiana, in the region of Devil's Island, and there deprives the second of her targets, a man named Chris Henley, from his fortune. She distributes this among the 'libres' — men who have been freed from Devil's Island but are now serving a sentence of forced labour on the mainland. Their sudden good fortune causes them to run riot and this affects a scientific expedition nearby. Sexton Blake is a member of that expedition and he starts to investigate the reasons for the unrest. This puts him in conflict with Roxane but she uses her feminine wiles to block him and manages to sail away before the detective can make a move against her.
3. The Brute of Saigon (UNION JACK issue 1,383, 1930)
Detective-Sergeant Bryce Allard arrives in Saigon to arrest a crooked businessman named Digby Farren. Roxane, however, is after the same man, he being the third of the eight who betrayed her family. When she abducts Farren, she takes Allard, too. Sexton Blake arrives and helps a Chinese detective, Sunyati, to infiltrate the palace where the prisoners are being held by a ruthless slave trader named Bruner. When the latter forces himself on Roxane, Blake comes to her rescue. The adventuress is sent packing while the criminals are rounded up.
4. Hunted Down (UNION JACK issue 1,388, 1930)
5. Jungle Justice (UNION JACK issue 1,390, 1930)
6. Forestalled (UNION JACK issue 1,391, 1930)
7. Blackmail (UNION JACK issue 1,396, 1930)
8. Shanghaied (UNION JACK issue 1,397, 1930)
9. Sinister Mill (UNION JACK issue 1,401, 1930)
10. The Shuttered Room (UNION JACK issue 1,410, 1930)
11. Black Spaniard Creek (UNION JACK issue 1,432, 1931)
12. Pearls of Peril (UNION JACK issue 1,445, 1931)
13. Bootleg Island (THE UNION JACK issue 1,447, 1931)
14. Piracy! (THE UNION JACK issue 1,448, 1931)
15. Lonely Farm (THE UNION JACK issue 1,452, 1931)
16. Doomed to Devil's Island (THE UNION JACK issue 1,454, 1931)
17. Planned From Paris (THE UNION JACK issue 1,474, 1931)
18. Lost in the Legion (THE UNION JACK issue 1,478, 1931)
19. Revolt! (THE UNION JACK issue 1,487, 1931)
20. Arms to Wu Ling (THE UNION JACK issue 1,495, 1931)
21. The Blood Brothers of Nan-Hu (THE UNION JACK issue 1,497, 1931)
22. The Next Move (part 1) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,516, 1932)
A man named Gilson, accused of stealing a large amount of money, captures an intruder inside his strange dummy house (it consists only of a six-foot deep facade). He consults Sexton Blake who returns to the place only to discover the prisoner gone and Mademoiselle Roxane unconscious on the stairs. Shots are fired.
23. The Next Move (part 2) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,517, 1932)
Blake takes a bullet to the shoulder. In the ensuing confusion, Roxane disappears.
24. The Next Move (part 3) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,518, 1932)
As a complex plot develops, Blake returns to the dummy house where, through a secret panel, he catches a glimpse of Pedro with Roxane's hand in his mouth. A scream rings out.
25. The Next Move (part 4) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,519, 1932)
Roxane doesn't feature in this instalment. However, the mystery of her presence and subsequent disappearance remains pertinent to developing events.
26. The Next Move (part 5) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,520, 1932)
Roxane visits a woman named Madam Casanova. Roxane explains that it was her maid, not her, that Pedro had grabbed. She shows Casanova a parrot that has been central to the plot and which has been trained to recite the combination code to a certain safe. Before Roxane can make it do so, Gilson shows up and drops unconscious to the floor.
27. The Next Move (part 6) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,521, 1932)
Roxane summons Sexton Blake to Madam Casanova's flat. He arrives with Tinker, Splash Page and Dirk Dolland, all of whom have allied themselves with Gilson. Dolland gives a recap of the wild events that have led up to this moment. The parrot reveals the combination. Now Blake & co. need to locate the safe. Before they can do so, the police arrive.
28. The Next Move (part 7) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,522, 1932)
Gilson and Dolland both need to avoid the police so they hide in Madam Casanova's cellar. They find a secret passage that leads to underground waterways. Blake arranges to meet Roxane at Baker Street later in the day. On the way there, she is kidnapped by the villain, Branks.
29. The Next Move (part 8) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,523, 1932)
Brank threatens to torture Roxane unless she reveals the whereabouts of the safe and the combination to open it. She refuses and, when Branks gets into a fight with one of his henchmen, she manages to escape.
29. The Next Move (part 9) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,524, 1932)
Blake and his friends battle with Brank and his gang in an underground system of waterways. Roxane is recaptured by the enemy.
30. The Next Move (part 10) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,525, 1933)
Branks is confronted by Sexton Blake but he holds the detective at bay by threatening to kill Roxane. Blake tricks him and beats him senseless.
31. The Next Move (part 11) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,526, 1933)
Roxane locates the safe behind a waterfall amid the underground waterways. She uses the combination to open it but, when the villains reappear (Branks has by now recovered), she falls inside and the door slams shut, trapping her.
32. The Next Move (part 12) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,527, 1933)
Blake & co. overpower the villains but the tunnel's roof collapses. Roxane remains trapped.
33. The Next Move (part 13) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,528, 1933)
Blake and his friends dig themselves out of the rubble. Dolland drills holes into the safe to enable Roxane to breathe.
34. The Next Move (part 14) (THE UNION JACK issue 1,529, 1933)
Roxane speaks through the air holes and tells Dolland the combination. He opens the safe and she is liberated from its confines. The stolen money is recovered and Gilson is proven innocent of any crime.
35. Black Traffic! (DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 36, 1933)
36. The Blood Brothers of Formosa (DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 40, 1933)
37. The Affair of the Missing Financier (DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 46, 1934)